21st November 2006. Bihar.
The Third Membership Verification for grant of recognition to the non-executive union in BSNL was in process. Leaders of all unions were touring the country, holding meetings and canvassing support from the employees. As General Secretary of BSNL Employees Union, along with other leaders in the alliance I was in Bihar Circle for a two day tour on 20th and 21st November 2006. The first meeting on 21st was in Samastipur. We had to catch the train to Patna, where a big meeting is arranged for the evening. But somehow by the time we reached the station, the express train which we intended to travel had already left. Next was a local train which would take much time. But no other way. Only 70 -80 km to Patna, but delayed due to stopping in many stations. Frantic calls coming from Patna asking us to reach immediately. The meeting was fixed at 17.00 hours, but by the time we were nearing Patna, it was 1800 hours. Coms. J.N.Mishra, All India President, B.P.Singh, Circle Secretary, N.K.Sreevastava, P.N.Jha and other leaders were with me.
Just about one 1 km before reaching Patna Junction, the train stopped for want of signal. I was reading a book and did not notice that others were getting down there since the meeting place was near. It was an on the spot decision as getting down there will save at least half an hour. When they called me to get down, I rushed to the door. The train has started moving slowly. One comrade who was behind me told not to get down, but go to Patna and come back. But I was not in a mood to be late for the meeting. Being winter, the light was dim outside. Anyhow, I jumped down to the side of the railway line, which was full of grass.
The jump was perfect and I bent down forward. Had I bent backwards, I would have been under the train. Then only I understood the danger. When I stood up, I saw that my pants and shirt were full of cow dung, on which I had jumped. Our comrades were panicked when they saw me jump. But seeing me covered with cow dung, they started laughing. I told them let us go to the meeting without waste of time. We almost ran and reached the meeting hall. Some of the people had already left. There I cleaned the pants and shirt and spoke for some time. Com.R.P.Singh, FNTO Circle Secretary presided. By the time the comrade who got down at Patna came back, the meeting was almost over.
The Meeting was saved but I got a clear warning against jumping from a moving train.